Jyayasi chet karmanas te mata buddhir janardan
Tat kim karmani ghore mam niyojayasi kesava
Arjuna said, “Janardhana, if you think that enlightenment is nobler than the performance of duty then why do you want me, Keshava(Lord Krishna), to indulge in this dreadful war.
Uyamisreneva vakyena buddhim mohayasiva me
Tad ekam vada nischitya yena sreyo ham apnuyam
And you keep on recommending obscure ideas which are difficult to understand and make me puzzled. Therefore give me that specific advice which will take me to the path of salvation.
Sri bhagavan uvaca
Loke smin dvi-vidha nistha pura prokta mayanagha
Jnana-yogena sankhyanam karma-yogena yoginam
The lord Almighty said, “Nishpap (Innocent) Arjun, in this world, there are two types of loyalties that I had described before. Among these followers of ‘Sankhayoga’ are loyal to the path of enlightenment and the Karmayogis are loyal to the performance of duty.
Na karmanam anarambhan naiskarmyam puruso snute
Na cha sannyasanad eva siddhim samadhigacchati
Neither a person can achieve a state of nobility without following the path of duty, nor by relinquishing his duty can he achieve the path of enlightenment.
Na hi kaschit ksanam api jatu tisthaty akarmakrt
Karyatte hy avasah karma sarvah prakrti-jair gunaih
Undoubtedly, no one can be really not doing anything even for a moment, because the entire mankind is forced to carry out something or the other at all times due to ‘Gunas’ (attributes)created by Nature.
Karmendriyani Samyamya ya aste manasa smaran
Indriyarthan vimudhatma mithyacharah sa uchyate
The idiotic mind who forces all senses to stop working outwardly bet keep on thinking about the wordly sensual pleasures is known a hypocrite and an imposter.
Yas tv indriyani manasa niyamyarabhate rjuna
Karmendriyaih karma-yogam asaktah sa visisyate
But, Arjun, he, who can control with his mind, all the senses and carry out his duty without attachment, is indeed worthy of praise.
Niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyayo hy akarmanah
Sarira-yatrapi cha te na prasiddhyed akarmanah
You must carry out your work according to principles enunciated in the shastras, as carrying out your work is much better than not working. Besides, without working you cannot even sustain yourself.
Yajnarthat karmano nyatra loko yam karma-bandhanah
Tad-artham karma kaunteya mukta-sangah samachara
Except the work carried out as a yajna, all others get the person emotionally attached with the work itself. Therefore Arjun you must carry out your duty without attachment to the best of your ability.
Saha-yajnah prajah srstva purovacha prajapatih
Anena prasavisyadhvam esa vo stv ista-kama-dhuk
Lord Brahma created people and told that you must prosper through the yajnas and the yajnas may bring the worldly prosperity that you may desire.
Isttan bhogan hi vo deva dasyante yaina-bhavitah
Tair dattan apradayaibhyo yo bhunkte stena eva sah
You should carry out the yagna for the progress of ‘Devtas’ and they in turn grant you prosperity. And the person who enjoys the pleasures of life without thanksgiving is just like a thief.
Yajna-sistasinah santo muchyante sarva-kilbisaith
Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pachantyatma-
Noble people who feed themselves with the prasada of yagna transcend and get freedom from all their sins. But those who selfishly only cook for themselves disregarding the ‘Devta’ donors in fact feed on sins.
Annad bhavanti bhutani parjanyad anna-sambhavah
Yajnad bhavati parjanyo yajnah karma-samudbhavah
Karma brahmodbhavam viddhi brahmaksara-samudbhavam
Tasmat sarva-gatam brahma nityam yajne pratisthitam
All beings are born out of grains. Rains are the reason for the growth of grains. Yajna brings about rains. And yajna is performed by the duty of human beings. The vedas are responsible for all dutiful efforts. And the Almighty alone has created the vedas. This amply established that the omnipotent almighty is always present amidst the yajnas.
Evam pravartitam chakram nanuvartayatiha yah
Aghayur indriyaramo mogham partha sa jivati
Arjun, in this world whoever doesnot performs according these holy laws established by the traditions, or who does not carry out his duty and indulges only in the worldly pleasures lives uselessly and without any purpose.
Yas tv atma-ratir eva syad atma-trptas ca manavah
Atmany eva cha santustas tasya karyam na vidyate
But the person who remains involved with his ‘atma’ and is satisfied only in his atma and ‘atma’ alone brings about his happiness; For him there remains no duty to be performed.
Naiva tasya krtenartho nakrteneha kaschana
Na chasya sarva-bhutesu kaschid artha-vyapasrayah
Because for that great soul in this world there remains no selfish deed. Nor he intends not to work. In fact three remains nothing of human selfishness that has any relations with him.
Tasmad asaktah satatam karyam karma samachara
Asakto hy acharan karma param apnoti purusah
Therefore you should always continue performing your duty to the best of your ability without any attachment. Because one who carries on with his duties unattached realises almighty, the God.
Karmanaiva hi samsiddhim astthita janakadayah
Loka-sangraham evapi sampasyan kartum arhasi
The Great and enlightened ones like Janak achieved realisation only through performance of their duties. Therefore, keeping in view, the deeds of the great ones, you are worthy of your duty or you should always perform your duty.
Yad yad acharati sresthas tat tad evetaro janah
Sa yat pramanam kurute lokas tad anuvartate
The conducts of the great ones are copied by other people. Whatever examples are set by the leader all people carryout their action according to the example before them.
Na me parthasti kartavyam trisu lokesu kinchana
Nanavaptam avaptavyam varta eva cha karmani
Arjun, in all three worlds, there is nothing for me to be performed as my duty, nor there is anything worth possessing which I do not have. Still I am always performing and carrying out my work.
Yadi hy aham na varteyam jatu karmany atandritah
Mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah
Because, Arjun, in case I relinquish work it will be a matter of great loss. Because all the human beings will follow the path treaded by Me.
Utsideyur ime loka na kuryam karma ched aham
Sankarasya cha karta syam upahanyam imah prajah
Therefore if I stop performing duty, I shall be responsibility for all the inaction and I shall be responsible for the destruction (extinction) of the humanity
Saktah karmany avidvamso yatha kurvanti bharata
Kuryad vidvams tathasaktas chikirsur loka-sangraham
Bharat (Arjun), just as engulfed in attachment, ignorant person carries on with his work, the knowledgeable person should also carry out his duties without attachment in the interest of humanity.
Na buddhi-bhedam janayed ajnanam karma-sanginam
Josayet sarva-karmani vidvan yuktah samacaran
The enlightened person who has realised God should avoid breeding suspicion among the foolish people or should not encourage lack of love for their duties. Rather, following his own duty as prescribed by the shastras, the wiseman should encourage others to perform their duties as well
Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah
Ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate
In reality all the deeds are done due to the effects of the three Gunas. Still the person who is full of ego consider that he alone has done it or he is the ‘doer’.
Tattvavit tu maha-baho guna-karma-vibhagayoh
Guna Gunesu vartantta iti matva na sajjate
But, Mahabaho (Arjuna), one who understands the functions of the Gunas and the functions of the Duty considers that only Gunas interact with each other and cause action; therefore he does not get, involved and remains unattached with any of the actions.
Prakrter guna-sammudhah sajjante guna-karmasu
Tan akrtsna-vido mandan krtsna-vin na vicalayet
Those who are deeply influenced by the ‘Gunas’ born out of nature remain equally attached with ‘Gunas’ and the actions. The enlightened person should never attempt to further confuse these ignorant people.
Mayi sarvani karmani sannyasyadhyatma-chetasa
Nirasir nirmamo bhutva yudhyasva vigata-jvarah
Having faith only in Me the omnipotent and dedicating all your deeds to Me you must carry out your duty without any hope without any attachment or remorse.
Ye me matam idam nityam anutisthanti manavah
Sraddhavanto nasuyanto muchyante te pi karmabhih
Whosoever follows my advise without blemishes and with devotion; they are freed from the shackles of attached actions.
Ye tv etad abhyasuyanto nanutisthanti me matam
sarva-jnana-vimudhams tan viddhi nastan achetasah
But other people with unsound wisdom who donot follow my advice; you must consider these people deficient and decadent in all respects.
Sadrsam chestate svasyah prakrter jnanavan api
Prakrtim yanti bhutani nigrahah kim karisyati
All human beings are created by nature. Their actions are influenced by the attributed they are born with. So in what way anyone can maintain his own ego which is futile.
Indriyasyendriyasyarthe raga-dvesau vyavasthitau
Tayor na vasam agacchet tau hy saya paripanthinau
Among the senses and their sense objects desire and envy are always latent and remain hidden. Man should not be overpowered by these. Because both these are enemies creating handicaps in the path of salvation.
Sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat svanusthitat
Sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah
One’s own duty is always preferable even if apparently it appears to be without greatness as compared to well performed duty of another human being. It is worthy even to die performing one’s own duty. The duty of the other one is always full of fright and is bound to cause fear.
Atha kena prayukto yam papam charati purusah
Anicchann api varsneya balad iva niyojitah
Arjun said “Krishna, then why does one without wanting to commit sin still is seen afflicted by some force and indulges in sinful acts.
Sri bhagavan uvacha
Kama esa krodha esa rajoguna-samudbhavah
Maha-sano maha-papma viddhy enam iha vairinam
Lord Krishna said. “Desire born due to Rajo Guna is the root cause of Anger. Desire is insatiable and is never satisfied with indulgence in worldly pleasure. In this respect you must consider Desire as your greatest enemy.
Dhumenavriyate vahnir yathadarso malena cha
Yatholbenavrto garbhas tatha tenedam avrtam
Just as smoke engulfs the fire and mirror is covered by the dust or foetus is covered with membrane in the same way wisdom is covered with the Desire.
Avrtam jnanam etena jnanino nitya-vairina
Kama-rupena kaunteya duspurenanalena cha
Arjun just like fire never is satisfied with growth Desire too is insatiable and has propensity to grow and man’s wisdom is averpowered by his enemy-desire.
Indriyani mano buddhir asyadhisthanam uchyate
Etair vimohayaty esa jnanam avrtya dehinam
Senses, mind and one’s intelligence – These are the abodes of Desire. This desire through the means of mind, intelligence and the senses overpowers the basic wisdom of man.
Tasmat tvam indriyany adau niyamya bharatarsabha
Papmanam prajahi hy enam jnana-vijnana-nasanam
Therefore, Arjun, keeping full control over your senses with all your might you must destroy this desire which kills away man’s wisdom and scientific nature.
Indriyani parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah
Manasas tu para buddhir yo buddheh paratas tu sah
Senses are considered to be more powerful than the body. Mind is considered more powerful than the senses. And wisdom is stronger than the mind. And that which far stronger than wisdom is ‘Atma’.
Evam buddheh param buddhva samstabhyatmanam atmana
Jahi satrum maha-baho kama-rupam durasadam
In this manner understanding fully the power of ‘Atma’ which is stronger than wisdom and by controlling your mind with your wisdom you must kill your abominable enemy – ‘Desire’.